If you’re looking for all the trimmings, this is the hotel to book. Theatrical glass elevators, down comforters, valet parking, good old-fashioned room service, 24-hour fitness center — the Hilton Albany has got the works. In 2013, the hotel completed a $16 million renovation that updated guest rooms. Now, with a change of ownership to United Capital Corporation (it is still a Hilton), even more millions are being lavished on this 385-room, 17-story behemoth in the heart of our state capital, with upgrades planned for the lobby and selected floors. At press time, the top floor is still under wraps, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s new.
Guests give the hotel the thumbs-up for touches like its luscious pillows, pretty views of the State Capitol, and huge glass-enclosed indoor heated pool (reputed to be the largest in the area). We like its big-city feel, but with quick access to the surrounding countryside.
Insider’s Tip: For a spectacular view of the Capitol and downtown Albany, book a room on the 10th floor or higher, preferably in the middle of the building and facing Lodge Street. If a Hudson view floats your boat, request a room facing Pearl Street when you make a reservation.
Eat: Historic Lark Street is Albany’s restaurant row (not to mention a shopping destination). With its 19th-century brownstone buildings and cobblestone corners, the street has a laid-back ambience and is fun to explore. McGuire’s is a local dining institution, known for its oysters, steak, and classic martinis. Newcomer Rain Modern Chinese, also on Lark, offers Cantonese fare and a dim sum brunch on weekends; diners go wild for the dumplings. City Beer Hall is also nearby, a gastropub that stays open late.
Do: This hotel is right in the thick of things, just one block from the Capitol and within walking distance of the Times Union Center and the New York State Museum, whose cool exhibit, “Beneath the City: An Archeaological Perspective of Albany,” comes highly recommended. It’s also just a five-block walk to the Mohawk Hudson Bike/Hike Trail along the river. Another great reason to book now: the Round Lake Antiques Festival takes place June 25-26. This primo event, held about a half-hour due north, attracts dealers from up and down the East Coast.
40 Lodge St., Albany
Price range: Rates generally start at $125.